The Red Sox saw their winning streak end Tuesday night in a 5-1 extra-innings loss to the Jays.For Henry Owens, it was a mixed night, as so many of his starts have been. Owens started his outing by plunking Ben Revere, moving him to second on a wild pitch, walking Jose Bautista, and giving up a ground ball to let the run score. It was an inning that could have been so much worse, but still displayed the obvious, glaring issue with Owens. He is, quit simply, out of control. He feels like an unfinished product, and if he's not exactly ahead of schedule in his arrival to the major leagues, it's not like he would be behind if it took him until 2016 to really be ready.
But, for all Owens' issues, he was still able to produce scoreless innings. It wasn't always pretty. He had to work around a leadoff double in the second with three straight fly balls, hit Troy Tulowitzki to start the fourth, and walked Ben Revere to start the fifth. He left the game after allowing a one-out single and a fourth walk in the sixth. But for all the frustration and trouble, Owens didn't get hit. It's the key difference between him and Allen Webster. He will put himself in bad situations, and sometimes he will pay for it. But sometimes isn't always, and so the steps he needs to take to advance from his current state to something truly impressive don't seem quite so impossible, or even improbable.
Whatever Owens' night says about his long-term viability, however, it got the Red Sox sixteen outs into the game with just one run scored by the vaunted Blue Jays lineup. That was a total that Boston had already proven capable of matching, with Travis Shaw continuing his resurgence by letting a not-so-fastball from R.A. Dickey over the heart of the plate fly just over the wall in right for a solo shot, his ninth in a remarkably short stretch of time.
But that was all the Sox would manage against Dickey, who had the knuckleball dancing tonight. The Sox would manage to produce some serious threats in the later innings of his outing, but wasted a leadoff double from Pablo Sandoval in the fifth and another extra-base hit from the returning Dustin Pedroia in the sixth.
That left this one a contest of the bullpens which, frankly, is about the last thing the Red Sox ever want. This time, at least, they put up a very real fight. Entering the game with two on and one down in the sixth, the bullpen put together 11 hitless outs. And, in the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox had a real chance to win the game, with David Ortiz drawing a one-out walk. But pinch-runner Rusney Castillo was thrown out trying to get into scoring position, and Travis Shaw grounded out weakly to end the inning.
That left Alexi Ogando with the tenth, and, well, that was that. Josh Donaldson led off the inning with a triple that just missed being a homer, and while Jose Bautista wasn't able to bring the run in, Troy Tulowitzki was after an intentional walk to Edwin Encarnacion. Chris Colabello made it 3-1 with another hit. a balk made it 4-1 (because why not?), and a sacrifice fly left it at 5-1 before the frame was over. That was that, with the Red Sox failing to produce in the bottom of the inning.